Anti-Racism in Education Programme Board minutes: 29 November 2023

Minutes from the group's meeting on 29 November 2023.


Attendees and apologies


  • Khadija Mohammed, Chair

  • Nuzhat Uthmani, Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DiTPEW)

  • Sami Read, Racism and Racist Incidents Subgroup (RRI)

  • Monica Medina, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

  • Asif Chishti, General Teaching for Scotland (GTCS)

  • Carrie Lindsay, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)

  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)

  • Carol Young, Coalition for Race Equality and Rights (CRER)

  • Ndaye Lisa Badji-Churchill, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS)

  • Nikhat Yusaf, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network

  • Crisantos Ike, Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP)

  • Judith Ballantin, Learning Directorate, Scottish Government (SG)

  • Emma Bunting, Learning Directorate, SG

  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, SG

In attendance

  • Talat Yaqoob, Co-Chair of the SG's Anti-Racism Interim Governance Group (AIGG)
  • Ima Jackson, Co-Chair of the SG's AIGG
  • Jeffrey Macdonald, Strategic Anti-Racism Team, SG
  • Zoe Rohde, Strategic Anti-Racism Team, SG
  • Jenny Gilruth MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills
  • Michael Sinclair, Assistant Private Secretary


  • Jovan Rao Rydder, Curriculum Reform Subgroup
  • Samir Sharma, Education Leadership and Professional Learning (ELPL) subgroup
  • Pauline Stephen, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies were noted as above. Sami Read introduced herself as the new CEMVO representative.

Guided mindfulness

The Chair outlined the rules regarding respectful dialogue. Members were reminded that an in-person session took place on 7 November 2023, during which the facilitator spoke about the benefits of instilling mindful practice in all approaches to the Anti-Racism in Education Programme (AREP) work and meetings. The group took 5 minutes to reflect on that. 

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes from the last meeting were distributed with the papers for this meeting. An update was provided on the actions:

  • members expressed that they would welcome a meeting with the AIGG chairs and that it would be useful to potentially invite them to a Programme Board meeting – closed – The AIGG chairs will join today’s meeting during agenda item 7
  • Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) live working group to investigate how City of Edinburgh Council educators can participate in DYW live sessions, as they do not use Glow – ongoing – members are making contact with the DYW live co-ordinator in order to take forwards
  • secretariat to approach Cabinet Secretary's Private Office to invite her to a future Programme Board meeting – closed – The Cabinet Secretary will join today’s meeting during agenda item 9
  • members were asked to submit any examples of best practice of positive action to – ongoing – Asif remains content to receive examples
  • secretariat to liaise with CRER to view 5 part test to assess actions, which may be useful to see prior to pledge workshop – closed – this will be picked up offline
  • secretariat agreed to flag the issue of lack of signposting in a range of languages on all SG publications to corporate communications colleagues, in order that they can consider how to address – ongoing – would be grateful for members’ thoughts on how they want to address this following on from the info the Secretariat shared on 3 November regarding the proposed inclusive communications duty as part of the Public Sector Equality Duty review 
  • secretariat to liaise with colleagues in Equality and Human Rights Directorate to investigate inclusive communications duty being proposed under public sector equality duty review – closed – Secretariat shared this material with members on 3 November, so any follow up will be taken forward as part of the action point above
  • members are encouraged to send further thoughts on the finance proposals via email to Secretariat – ongoing – at the previous meeting comments suggested that there was support for a website to host all AREP work. It would be helpful to understand from members their thoughts on the creation of separate websites as opposed to, for example, creating a portal within Education Scotland’s wider IT resourcing framework. This will be covered further under agenda item 6
  • members are asked to send in examples of emerging practice for illustration purposes in the summit commitment, in order that the document is as illustrative as possible – ongoing – none received so far

There were no further comments and the minutes were agreed.

Education reform 

The latest consultation as part of the Education Reform workstream was recently announced. This consultation is on the provisions of the draft Education Bill, specifically to seek views on a new qualifications body, along with any views on changes to education inspection in Scotland. It was acknowledged that while there have already been several consultations as part of Education Reform, this is because there is a legal requirement for the Scottish Government to consult on draft legislation. The consultation closes on 18 December, therefore members may wish to consider how to respond. There are a number of online events planned by Education Reform Directorate to discuss the consultation in more detail. The links to them have been shared with members by Secretariat, who would encourage attendance if at all possible. Members were asked whether they wish to respond as a Board, or together with the AREP subgroups. It was suggested that the Board could revisit the previous submissions, particularly the Curriculum Reform subgroup’s submission to the Qualifications and Assessment consultation, which is deemed particularly significant. This could be used as the basis for the Programme Board’s response to the new consultation. Members agreed that this was a suitable action to take. 

Action: Secretariat to circulate the Curriculum Reform submission to the Board for any updates since it was originally submitted.

Progress from each of the workstreams

Each subgroup chair was asked to provide a verbal update on progress in their subgroups, based upon the written updates provided as annexes to these minutes.

Racism and racist incidents (annex A)

Members discussed the reported increase in racist incidents due to world events, the ongoing conflict in the middle east and the media coverage of those. Secretariat advised that a cross-government approach is being developed to better understand current pressures on community cohesion in Scotland as a result of the Israel/Gaza conflict to provide a better understanding of where tensions are. Carol indicated that CRER have connections who work on education initiatives and would be happy to share details of those involved.

Action: CRER to email these to Secretariat.

Sami from CEMVO advised that she previously wrote a report on Prevent training and its effect on students of colour. She would be happy to share this for information.

Action: CEMVO to email this to Secretariat.

Diversity in the teaching profession and education workforce (annex B)

Monica from SQA provided a link to stats from Skills Development Scotland - The Young People in Scotland research project which may be of interest to the DITPEW subgroup.

Curriculum reform (annex C)

Education Leadership and Professional Learning

No update currently available.


Members expressed interest at the previous meeting in three suggestions:

  • the development of a framework for local authorities to support the recruitment, retention and promotion of black and minority ethnic teachers
  • the development of a website/portal on Education Scotland’s website/GLOW to host all AREP outputs
  • exploring how existing provision of trauma informed training which Education Scotland deliver (not currently focused on specific or intersecting protected characteristics) could be expanded to cover trauma caused by racism

Nikhat indicated that she would welcome the pursuit of more trauma informed training.

Action: Secretariat to pick up with Nikhat.

AIGG chairs

Talat Yaqoob and Professor Ima Jackson were introduced as co-chairs of the Anti-racist Infrastructure Governance Group (AIGG). The AIGG has been considering the degree to which Scotland’s anti-racist infrastructure exists, and how the Scottish Government and associated agencies, bodies and wider civic society should address gaps.

The AIGG was created to establish a permanent external oversight and governance body. The independent body will include the Observatory, which will bring together quantitative and qualitative data on racial inequality, creating a data repository which will identify gaps, and avoid repletion of research and analysis. The Observatory will hold the Scottish Government to account, ensuring that recommendations are acted upon. It aims to create a reinjection of purpose, amplifying existing work. 

The independent body will build capacity of those in policy making positions, to understand anti-racism and competent intersectional policy delivery. It will also build capacity in communities, allowing them to hold those in power to account. The Observatory will help identify how communities are positioned to work together. Launch is expected in late spring/early summer next year. 

Members were assured that the work of the AREP would be supported by the Observatory, and it is hoped that open discussion and partnership will allow alignment between the two.

The Secretariat made reference to the comprehensive monitoring exercise that took place across SG on anti-racist work going on in different policy areas, and queried whether the same exercise would be carried out this year. The responses previously provided were included in an accountability report shared with the Minister for Equalities, Migration and Refugees. Upon receipt of an official response, both will be made public, which is expected in the next few weeks. Action: Secretariat to monitor for publication and share with Board members.

The data gathering process will not be replicated in the same way this year, but once the Observatory has launched, an accountability monitoring process will be carried out annually. It is intended that accountability will be owned by communities themselves. 

Members noted the difficulties experienced by those trying to make changes and innovatively challenge a system, while simultaneously being embedded in it. The Observatory could potentially support that and provide assistance in navigating issues.

The Chair thanked Talat and Ima for their time and input to the meeting.

Anti-racism in education summit

The Secretariat have submitted information to the Cabinet Secretary about the summit and she has agreed that 20 February 2024 would be a suitable date. The invitation from her will issue shortly. Members were reminded that final comments on the commitment, including examples of emerging best practice should be submitted to Secretariat as soon as possible, in order to be able to share it with senior colleagues. It was clarified that the summit will be a half day session focussed solely on education. 

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

The Cabinet Secretary was welcomed by the Chair. Ms Gilruth thanked members for inviting her to the meeting. She acknowledged the significant amount of work achieved by the AREP so far. She noted the attitudinal shift required, and how slow that can be. She also made reference to the normalisation of discrimination through social media, which can be challenging to deal with.

Ms Gilruth acknowledged that she has paused the Education Reform agenda to reflect on the progress made, and identify challenges that need to be addressed. She thanked members for their responses to the All Learners Matter and It’s Our Future reports.

In conclusion, she expressed that she is looking forward to delivering the keynote speech at the Anti-Racism in Education summit in February, and hearing more about the work which has been undertaken to develop the anti-racist commitment.

Members expressed to the Cabinet Secretary that they are keen to progress the ambitions of the AREP, but they want to ensure that their input to information gathering exercises is complementary to existing evidence, rather than duplicating time and effort. Plenty of evidence exists on topics, such as racism within schools, and they asked that their capacity is not used to create unnecessary ‘refreshed’ evidence. Safeguarding of teachers was also raised as an issue, particularly teachers with intersectional protected characteristics.  The Cabinet Secretary thanked members for their time and comments.

Any other business

The Chair expressed her appreciation to all participants for their time and input and outlined the immediate next steps. Secretariat will circulate the minutes of the meeting by 6 December 2023. The next meeting of this group will be held on 1 February 2024 from 15:30-17:00. 

Pauline Hendry is leaving the Equality in Education team and will be moving to Education Reform Directorate in a new role. She expressed her thanks to members for their support during her time with the team, and she hopes that her path will cross with many members in future. Until Pauline’s successor is identified, members should email and as the Secretariat. 

Annex A - racism and racist incidents subgroup


  • Ndaye Lisa Badji (Co-Chair), Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS)
  • CEMVO representative (Co-Chair)
  • Laura Meikle (Co-Chair), Support and Wellbeing, Scottish Government
  • Carol Young, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Lorraine Glass, Respect Me
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, primary teacher, Glasgow City Council, Board of Trustees, WOSDEC, EIS rep and Glasgow Committee of Management, EIS Anti-racist Sub Committee and BAME networks
  • Asif Chishti, General Teaching Council (Scotland)
  • Marilyn Brennan, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) and QIO from East Renfrewshire Council
  • Matthew Sweeney, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Sara Medel Jiménez, NASUWT
  • Maryam Imran, independent racism consultant
  • Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS)
  • Sarah Guy/Scott Sutherland, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government (SG)
  • m, Education Scotland
  • Pauline Lynch, Education Scotland
  • Kieran Gilmore, Central Scotland Regional Equality Council (CSREC)
  • Sarah Robinson Galloway / Cynthia Gentle, Youthlink
  • Elisabeth Davies, University of West of Scotland
  • Anwari Din, Youth Community Support Agency
  • Tina Woolnough, Connect
  • Victoria Nyanga-Ndiaye, Project Esperanza 
  • Gemma Crompton Support and Wellbeing, Scottish Government
  • Catherine Jamieson (Workstream Lead), Support and Wellbeing, Scottish Government

Dates of previous meetings

  • 10 August 2021
  • 12 October 2021
  • 30 November 2021
  • 13 January 2022
  • 25 January 2022
  • 15 March 2022
  • 27 April 2022
  • 01 June 2023 – chair’s meeting
  • 20 June 2023 – chair’s meeting
  • 13 September 2023
  • 11 October 2023
  • 8 November 2023


  • the workstream has now held three meetings since September, with the next scheduled for 06 December
  • the meetings have agreed the terms of reference, action plan and have discussed a Skeleton Whole School Approach (WSA). The workstream have also heard from the DiTPEW workstream Chair, with a view to considering the joint action on racist incidents experienced by minority ethnic teachers
  • the workstream will consider the workplan for drafting the WSA on 06 December

Annex B - diversity in the teaching profession and education workforce subgroup


  • Nuzhat Uthmani (Co-Chair), Principal Teacher 
  • Asif Chishti (Co-Chair), Senior Education Officer (National Race Diversity Lead), General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE) 
  • Kevin Brack, Lecturer in Educational Leadership, Moray House School of Education and Sport 
  • Andrea Reid, Glasgow City Council and Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) 
  • Simon Cameron, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) 
  • Judith Mohamed, Headteacher 
  • Marla Baird, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) 
  • Sara Medel Jiménez, NASUWT 
  • Selma Augestad, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) 
  • Navan Govender, Anti-Racist Educator 
  • Jehan Al-Azzawi, Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE) 
  • Zara Khan, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS)
  • Lesley Whelan, Head of Professional Learning and Leadership, Education Scotland 
  • Scott Sutherland, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government 
  • Scott Brand, Workforce Planning, Scottish Government 
  • Emma Bunting (Workstream Lead), Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government 
  • Pauline Hendry, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government 
  • Judith Ballantine, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government 

Dates of previous meetings

  • 1 July 2021 
  • 14 September 2021 
  • 17 November 2021 
  • 13 December 2021
  • 20 January 2022 
  • 24 March 2022 
  • 25 April 2022 
  • 17 May 2022 
  • 14 June 2022 
  • 24  August 2022 
  • 22 September 2022 
  • 31 October 2022 
  • 22 November 2022 
  • 20 December 2022 
  • 23 January 2023 
  • 21 February 2023 
  • 22 March 2023 
  • 25 April 202323 May 2023
  • 26 June 2023
  • 23 August 2023
  • 20 September 2023
  • 22 November 2023


The twenty-third meeting of the DiTPEW subgroup took place on 22 November 2023. The agenda covered: 

  • a workshop to inform the GTCS’ development of models for sponsoring
  • the frequently asked questions document, renamed to AREP Fact sheet, was published and circulated. It has been received well
  • work is underway between the DiTPEW group and ADES/COSLA in relation to scoping the potential development of a ‘sister’ framework for employers to sit alongside the recent National Framework for Anti-Racism in ITE, published by the SCDE earlier in 2023
  • the group submitted a response to the GTCS’ recent review of its memorandum of understanding

Forward look

  • work is underway to develop a session to be delivered as part of the Developing the Young Workforce programme. This will be focused on a range of issues such as pathways/how to be a teacher, what it means to be a teacher and support for teachers – all with a focus on encouraging minority ethnic children and young people into the profession. A small working group has been established to take this forward
  • the DiTPEW will engage with Scottish Government and Local Authority/ADES colleagues on work around clarifying guidance related to the use of positive action measures. Asif Chishti, as co-chair, has requested that members send any examples they know of that relate to positive action, which can be collated into a ‘scrapbook’
  • ·the group will continue to support Khadija and SCDE to drive engagement with and support the ITE framework
  • work with GTCS on their plan to gather additional data on previously registered teachers 
  • work is underway between the DiTPEW group and ADES/COSLA in relation to scoping the potential development of a ‘sister’ framework for employers to sit alongside the recent National Framework for Anti-Racism in ITE, published by the SCDE earlier in 2023
  • looking to connect with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) to gain more insight into application data into Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes by minority ethnic applications
  • potential linkage with PhD student at University of Strathclyde who is researching the experiences of minority ethnic students going through the ITE process

Risks and issues identified

  • negative comments on social media regarding positive action measures to promote race equality risk discouraging employers from taking these necessary steps and individual teachers will be deterred from applying for positive action measures if communications are not sufficiently robust
  • members of the DiTPEW, and wider AREP, who are lead on this work in both a professional and personal capacity are at risk of abuse, including of a racist nature

Annex C - curriculum reform


  • Mélina Valdelièvre (Co-Chair), Senior Education Officer for Equalities, Education Scotland 
  • Jovan Rao-Rydder (Co-Chair), Programme Director, Intercultural Youth Scotland
  • Carol Young, Deputy Director, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, Principal Teacher, Glasgow City Council, EIS Vice Convenor Antiracist Sub Committee, Founder of GC Education Scotland
  • Crisantos Ike, MSYP for Rutherglen
  • Mark Chan, MSYP for Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley
  • Urooj Chaudhary, MSYP for Glasgow Pollok
  • Hakim Din, Education and Race Consultant
  • Sadia Hussain-Savuk, biology teacher, Fettes College, Edinburgh
  • Lewis Hou, The Anti-Racist Educator and Science Ceilidh
  • Suzy Aldous, General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • Sara Medel Jiménez, NASUWT, STUC Black Workers Committee and Spanish teacher
  • Katie Hunter, history teacher, St Thomas of Aquin’s High School
  • Pavithra Sarma, Anti-racism consultant and co-founder, Scottish Anti-Racism Education
  • Matthew Sweeney, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, COSLA
  • Carrie Lindsay, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland
  • Michael Roach, Head of Education, Inverclyde Council
  • Frank Thomson, Youth, Family and Community Learning Service, South Lanarkshire
  • Monica Media, Race Equality and Anti-Racism, Scottish Qualifications Authority 
  • Iain Morrison, Humanities, Scottish Qualifications Authority
  • Theo Ogbhemhe, Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies, Kirkwall Grammar School
  • Laura-Ann Currie, Head of Inclusion, Equalities and Wellbeing
  • Lynne Robertson, Social Studies Senior Education Officer
  • Graeme Wallace, Curriculum Innovation Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland
  • Stuart Downes, Health and Wellbeing in Education
  • Laura Ross (Workstream Lead), Curriculum Unit

Key achievements since last report

  • sessions with the Association of Directors of Education Curriculum, Assessment and Qualifications leads in May and July have been followed up with a session with ten local authorities keen to share and develop their anti-racism approaches in partnership (led by Melina and Graeme at Education Scotland).Further sessions planned for 2024
  • the School Library Improvement Fund has agreed its allocated awards for bids this year with over £160k (of thew £200k fund) directed at anti-racism and inclusion projects. Summary of awards available on request

Funded programmes of work to support curriculum workstream recommendations:

  • new resource creation underway – on priority areas identified: early years + health and wellbeing/personal and social education to be led by the West of Scotland Development Education Centre (WOSDEC) and Scotlands Development Education Centres (ScotDEC) with collaboration as a core principle
  • continuation and development of the Teaching Slavery in Schools programme led by academics from Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling in collaboration with Lisa Williams, anti-racist educator and founder of the Edinburgh Caribbean Association, and the Scottish Association of Teachers of History
  • funding remains to develop a further phase of the small grants fund and plans are underway to open this for bids next month

Forward look

  • meeting of full group to be arranged for 31 January 2024
  • continue to seek opportunities to foreground anti-racism in education reform, planned response to the consultation on the Education Bill and the Shared Inspection Framework for Early Years
  • collaboration on the curriculum-focused contribution to the summit principles
  • discussion and engagement on the decolonisation of the social studies SQA content
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